Portfolio

The 5 Deadly Sins of Investing

Overconfidence and herd behavior can hurt your investments, but you can be a smarter investor by examining how your emotions influence your decisions.

5 Ways to Prevent Panic From Plundering Your Portfolio

With the stock market near its all-time high, few investors are terribly worried about their portfolios right now. But that makes it the best time to take steps to panic-proof your portfolio in preparation for the next financial crisis.

Brokerage Credit Cards: Can One Boost Your Portfolio?

It's easy to understand the allure of brokerage credit cards. They're cash-back cards that route the the kickbacks into a brokerage account for capital appreciation. Free money creating more free money: What could possibly go wrong?

What to Watch This Week: Taxes, Imax, eBay and More

This week, holiday shoppers have turned into post-holiday exchangers. And while Main Street shops for sweaters in the right size, Wall Street has a few items to cross off of its "to do" list before New Year's Eve, too.

Social Security Benefit Is Barely Minimum Wage

Good news: Retirees will get a 3.6% Social Security cost-of-living adjustment in 2012 -- their first boost since 2009. Bad news: The average benefit is $1,229 a month, about the equivalent of working for minimum wage.

Free Retirement Help You're Probably Ignoring

More workers now have access to professional retirement planning advice through their employers' 401(k) providers, but three-quarters of them aren't taking it. Here's a guide to making the best use of that free, unbiased advice and tips on what to ask the financial planners.

Five Reasons I Hate Target Date Funds

A tsunami of money -- $2 trillion within the next decade -- is flowing into target date funds, a type of retirement account that's supposed to make investing for our post-work years simple. But the way those funds are run isn't always in our best interest. Laura Rowley explains.

Does an Annuity Make Sense for Your Retirement Portfolio?

People nearing retirement now face a volatile stock market on the one hand and weak returns on their savings on the other. Fixed annuities offer a guaranteed stream of income, but there are downsides. Economist Brett Hammond of TIAA-CREF discusses how an annuity can fit into your portfolio, and some pitfalls to avoid.

How Much Risk Should You Take in Your Portfolio?

Determining your risk tolerance before you invest is a lot like choosing a delivery plan for the birth of your child. When the contractions start, even the best-laid plans can go right out the window, because it's impossible to predict how you'll feel watching a chunk of your savings evaporate until it happens.

Why Investors Pick Wrong Times to Buy Annuities

A study by Alessandro Previtero, a finance professor at University of Western Ontario, has found that investors are likely to buy annuities at the wrong times. Making decisions based on recent market events -- like last week's stock-market crash -- can take a big toll on your retirement wealth.

Secrets of Investors Who Keep Their Cool in Chaos

With all the ups and downs in the stock market in the last week, it's not surprising that some investors have panicked. But we've also found examples of investors who have kept calm. Here are some of their secrets.

How to Turn Teen Girls Into Financial Prodigies

America's urban schools don't do nearly enough to teach kids about personal finance and investing, and the effects permeate through America's minority communities. The ING-Girls Inc. Investment Challenge changing that, one virtual portfolio and one girl at a time.

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall St.: Is Copycat Investing Smart?

Mirror investing lets you link your investment account to someone else's: When they make a trade, you automatically trade too. It guarantees that the person guiding you has skin in the game, but is it really wise to put your investment decisions in the hands of a stranger?

Coke Takes the Fizz out of Berkshire Hathaway

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway liquidated its positions in a number of high-profile companies during the fourth quarter, but the Oracle of Omaha's huge stake in Coca-Cola has caused his portfolio to lose its fizz so far in 2011.

Investors Are Keeping Their Eyes on the Wrong Ball

There's a frenzy of stock buying going on now, because no one wants to be left out of the stock market recovery. But all those who are betting on short-term gains are engaged in what I call "wrong ball investing." Here's how to keep your eye on the right ball.

Five Investing Rules You Can Learn From Kids

Looking at investing from a child's perspective can be eye-opening. And you don't need to have kids of your own to learn these lessons. Here are five tips for learning how to think like a child -- and how to turn that into making some grown-up profits.

Treasury TIPS: A Looming Disaster for Small Investors

Hoping to add some safety against inflation to their portfolios, many folks have been investing in Treasury inflation-protected securities -- TIPS. So now that inflation is on the horizon, they should be sitting pretty, right? Unfortunately not. Here's why.